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Monday, October 4, 1999 Published at 08:33 GMT 09:33 UK


Tyson: 'I'd bite again'

Mike Tyson faces Orlin Norris on October 23

Former world heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson, has warned that he would bite Evander Holyfield again, if provoked, and that only jail has prevented him from ruling his sport.

Speaking on US TV to promote his first fight since being released from jail in May on assault charges, Tyson said: "If I hadn't gone to jail and hadn't been inactive so long, I would still be the champion and no one could last more than three rounds with me."

Tyson bit off parts of both Evander Holyfield's ears in a 1997 title fight, later complaining that the referee was allowing Holyfield to headbutt him.

"I would do it again if provoked. I would do it again under the same circumstances," Tyson said.

"(Referee) Mills Lane was not protecting me from Holyfield's head butts. He wasn't controling the situation appropriately. I would do it again if I see myself bloody and cut up."

Tyson, who lost his boxing license for 15 months following the bout, returned to the ring in January, knocking out Francois Botha in the fifth round.

He faces Orlin Norris on October 23 in Las Vegas and does not expect any help from the referee.

"If he's having a rough fight and there is some foulness going on, the referee is going to be paralyzed and not act," he said.

"Nobody ever has any sympathy or pity for me. In retaliation, I'll fight back because nobody is fighting for me.

"I have to defend myself. It is just human nature to defend yourself. I just never sold out."

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